Maybe some of you have done this before - if not, try this after your next marathon ...
Long after you have finished in 4 or 5 hours and collected your medal. Or long after you've ran your PR Boston Qualifier. And long after you have "penguined" back to the hotel, showered up, and started pumping fuel back into your body. Go back down to the finish line. Go and cheer the final competitors who are crossing the line in 6 & 7 plus hours. To me, these are some of the greatest heroes of the marathon.
go share in the courage and determination that these warriors display as they walk, limp, crawl, and even run across the finish line.
Many runners have finished hours ago ... and they know this. Many people have quit ... but they won't. They have competed along-side superior athletes today ... and this is their day to share in the triumph of great physical accomplishment - regardless of a ticking clock.
Their faces are anguished. Their legs are wobbly. And their tired bodies are depleted of fluids and energy. But they deserve a hero's welcome just like we received. The crowd will be sparse. It will be you and a few of their family and friends. And the race organizers will probably be tearing down the finishing tents, and boxing uneaten wilted fruit. But the look on their face as they cross same finish line you did is unforgettable. This is their moment, and it's an honor to share it with them.
I've had the opportunity to do this a few times, and I'm telling you a couple of these moments were almost better than the race itself. I know sometimes travel plans won't allow you to linger. But if you can work it into your schedule at all, it might mean the world to someone.
They did it! No one thought they ever could ... but they did it!
Be great today!